Post War Years - The Greats and the Happenings
As a civilized being you’ll appreciate that I hate to be disturbed during elevenses; I find it one of those rare moments in the day when one can truly relax and savour the shrill, hysterical stories of moral panic in the Daily Mail. You’ll equally appreciate my disquiet, then, when Jenkins interrupted my demolition of a handmade clotted cream and quince scone to inform me that another album had arrived from head office. Wiping the residual dairy produce from my whiskers I snatched the packaged and lanced it with my trusty Victorian letter opener. Aha! I thought, Post War Years eh?, finally they’ve sent me something I can enjoy. Alas dear reader, I was disappointed for this was no collection of 1940’s stirring military band anthems at all, but rather some form of challenging ‘indie’ music.
Having been disturbed from my contemplation I decided to make the best of a bad job and, tossing aside the half eaten scone, I sluiced down the remnants of a Darjeeling and instructed Jenkins to commence the playback of said album. Well, these musicians may not be ex military but they are certainly brave as they open their album with Red Room, a song which seems to involve the collision of at least three time signatures. Led by agitated drumming the track tips its hat to influences such as Talking Heads and is a clear signpost that this is a band that wants to move your head as much as move your feet. By the time the first track is over it has somehow sublimated the listener into its jerky, angular mindset, becoming an almost mesmerising mantra from which only the abrupt end jars the listener back into the sentient world.
This is very welcome, and it is broadly representative of the whole album which gradually develops its own style through liberal use of Nintendo-esque bleeps, particularly on Whole World on its Head, and post punk basslines. Like pretty much everything else released in the last couple of years the album is influenced almost exclusively by the synth pop of the early 1980s and, at times, sound not unlike Bauhaus performing The Human League’s Dare. Like the austere post war years themselves, the album is characterised by discord. You can tell that something is not quite as it should be (and that this is certainly deliberate) but yet everything somehow works all the same. One to watch.